MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There is trouble on the horizon for the National Football League in its timeline to get on the field this fall.
Now, the players are demanding answers on how the shield will step up and create a safe work environment in the age of the coronavirus. Numerous players, many of them stars like Patrick Maholmes, Drew Brees, and J.J. Watt, take part in a coordinated posting blitz Sunday afternoon using the hashtag “WeWantToPlay.”
With training camp starting soon, the players are looking for the league to provide answers. Super Bowl Champion quarterback Patrick Maholmes of the Kansas City Chiefs posts, “Getting ready to report this week hoping the NFL will come to an agreement with the safe and right protocols so we can feel protected playing the sport we love.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Willson writes, “I am concerned. My wife is pregnant. NFL Training camp is about to start... And there’s still no clear plan on player health and family safety. "
Defensive Back Richard Sherman said, “The NFL has ignored the safety recommendations from the experts they hired. We all love this game and want to go out and compete with our brothers. The NFL needs to provide a safe work environment for us to do that. "
Bills Wideout Stephon Diggs credits the NBA saying, “If Adam Silver can respect the voices and protect his NBA players, why can’t NFL commish do the same? Listen to your players. If we want to have a full season, it will have to look different with our safety as the priority. NFL, make the necessary changes.”
The Saints Brees sums it up with this, “We need Football! We need sports! We need hope! The NFL’s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy, there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done NF.L”
Right now, players don’t know what will be the frequency of coronavirus testing, or the protocol if they come in contact with a teammate who tests positive for COVID-19. The players are also waiting to hear what kind of protections they’ll receive if they opt-out of the season to protect themselves, or a high-risk family member.
Despite worries over an unsafe work environment, the NFL can mandate players to show up to training camp. They could be fined if they fail to report, even if there is no agreement reached between the NFL and the Players Association.